870. Winter cold

870cold

There was no doubt it was an early frost. Mary Jane was quite unprepared. She’d cleaned the chimney over summer, but as for firewood… Not a twig.

Putting on her thick Finland sweater she had knitted, she ventured into the nearby frosty forest to collect enough wood to start the fire and at least clear the nip in the air. By the time the fire was going the sun had begun to warm the room.

That afternoon, Mary Jane went out and gathered enough firewood to last a week. She would collect more in the coming days.

The next morning it was even frostier. And the following morning, frostier still. Then the snow began. Cold, cold, cold. Mary Jane had the fire going all day.

The days grew shorter and colder. Mary Jane stoked the fire. The fire did not warm. And colder and colder grew the days. It was now so cold in the house that Mary Jane could hardly move. The damp had settled on the walls and frozen into icicles. There was no end to it.

Mary Jane set fire to the house.

33 thoughts on “870. Winter cold

      1. Cynthia Jobin

        An update, Pauline: Beau the cat is sleeping all the time, still breathing, peacefully and opens his eyes occasionally. The other cat, Lulu, comes to sit by him as if she is comforting. He is not in distress; takes a bit of water, but when he tries to stand, he shakes and falls down….then goes back to sleep. We are keeping vigil.

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          1. Cynthia Jobin

            Yes, it does, Yvonne. Beau passed away last night and Lulu sat beside him keeping vigil. The two cats have been buddies for sixteen years, through three moves of house, the sudden death of my partner, my own disappearance for cancer surgery (when my cat-phobic neighbor was in charge of coming in to feed them and they nearly starved) and all the antics of the crazy dog who also lives with us. Watching Lulu keep watch over what was a very peaceful, natural death, was actually a very moving experience. Maybe it was her own cat spirit that made it so.

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            1. Bruce Goodman Post author

              We are all with you at this sad and significant time, Cynthia. The internet, might bring people “closer together”, but in times like this people seem to be too far away. It is another important moment shared by you with Lulu and Chloë.

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                1. Bruce Goodman Post author

                  Congratulations to Cynthia Jobin who has been awarded a wonderful poetry prize for her self-published book of poems “A Certain Age”. Read all about it here! I shall advertise this again tomorrow!!

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Gentle thoughts and expressions of astoundedness are both gratefully accepted.

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